Month: March 2013

  • March 30: Matisse & those old-time devices

    Speaking of Matisse, it’s worth noting that while he was nothing if not original, he didn’t disdain those old-time pictorial devices. In “Luxe, Calme, et Volupte” his composition is based on the foreground oblique (a diagonal receding into space), and effective use of haloing. Haloing involves pushing the contrast between an object (e.g., a figure) […]

  • March 23: Matisse scores

        One of the unexpected delights of the recent Matisse show at the Met was “Sculpture and Vase of Ivy.” I’d never seen it before. The surfaces and layers of paint are fascinating in the Matisse-y way, which is only partially evident in reproduction (hasten to the Tikanoja Museum in Vaasa, Finland to see […]

  • March 16: Matisse bungles one?

    Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) made much wonderful art, of which many examples were included in the show just ending at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He also perpetrated some duds. The show included several. For example, “The Dream.” What constitutes a dud depends, of course, on what interests you. What interests […]

  • March 9: Loran on Cezanne’s compositions

    As an art student in the ’20s, the late Erle Loran lived in Cezanne’s studio, and went about the countryside taking photos of the motifs Cezanne had painted years before. Later he wrote¬†Cezanne’s Composition: Analysis of his form with diagrams and photographs of his motifs.* It’s a difficult and tedious book; I recommend it highly. […]

  • March 2: a painting in progress: “dancers rehearsing”

    Occasionally I sit in on an a dance class to draw the figure in motion. One day the piece in process climaxed in a willowy cluster of legs on tiptoe supporting a dense mass of torsos topped by a flurry of faces, arms, and hands. This looked like a painting. I brought a camera next […]